May 25, 2022

‘Keeping It Safe Coalition’ Names Student Video Contest Winners and Recipients of Community Service Awards

‘Keeping It Safe Coalition’ Names Student Video Contest Winners and Recipients of Community Service Awards
Montgomery County Alcohol Beverage Services (ABS) and the Montgomery County Police Department have announced the high school and middle school winners of the 2021-22 “Keeping it Safe Coalition” student video contest. The annual contest encouraged teams from Montgomery County public and private schools to create 30-second public service announcements to educate young people about the risks of under-21 alcohol use.

The winning entries will receive cash prizes for their affiliated school. In this year’s contest, 75 videos were submitted from 38 schools.

Founded in 1992, the Keeping It Safe Coalition (KIS) is an alliance of County departments, local organizations and concerned residents that work to deter underage alcohol access and use. The student video contest was funded by the Montgomery County Department of Police’s Traffic Division.

“Alcohol is the most widely used substance among America’s youth and under-21 drinking is a public health problem in the United States,” said ABS Director Kathie Durbin. “Video contests, such as this one, provide students with the opportunity to engage in advocacy with their peers and raise awareness about the dangers and consequences of under-21 drinking.”

Winning school groups were announced on May 19 through a virtual award ceremony.

The winning videos can be viewed from the ABS website.

The 2021-22 high school award winners:
  • First Place: Winston Churchill High School. Students Ida Chen and Isar Uslu. Will receive a $1,000 prize.
  • Second Place: Damascus High School. Students Helen Andino Carranza and Brandon Lopez-Ventura. With the collaboration of Jayson Andino Carranza from John T. Baker Middle School. Will receive a $500 prize.
  • Third Place: Northwood High School. Student Hailie Clark. Sponsoring teacher Iris Schwarz. Will receive a $350 prize.
  • Honorable Mention: Quince Orchard High School will receive a $100 prize.
The 2021-22 middle school award winners:
  • First Place: Briggs Chaney Middle School will receive a $500 prize.
  • Second Place: Westland Middle School. Students Alana Anantham, Noa Geller and Celia Markowitz. With the collaboration of Asher Anantham from Montgomery Blair High School. Will receive a $300 prize.
  • Third Place: Hallie Wells Middle School. Students Tia Daher and Hannah Matthew. Will receive a $250 prize.
  • Honorable Mention: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. Student Saesha Dhote. Sponsoring teacher Lisa Wroblewski. Will receive a $100 prize.
For the first time this year, Travel Television, a member of the Keeping It Safe Coalition, sponsored the Most Popular video award for both high school and middle school participants. The award recognized the video with the most online views and “likes.”

The Most Popular Video for High School and Middle school winner:
  • Paint Branch High School. Students Kwabena Appiah, Andres De La O Zelaya and James Abraham. Will receive $150, payable directly to the students.
The Keeping It Safe Coalition also presented the Walter Milam Memorial Law Enforcement Award to Lee Williams, an alcohol tobacco enforcement specialist with ABS’ Division of Licensure, Regulation and Education, for his work and commitment to under-21 alcohol prevention.

Through robust alcohol licensing, compliance and training programs, the Division of Licensing, Regulation, and Education (LRE) within ABS ensures the responsible sale and service of alcohol. LRE has been an active supporter of KIS for decades.

ABS is the alcohol wholesaler of beer, wine, and spirits for Montgomery County. ABS operates 25 beer, wine and spirits stores and one spirits-only store in Poolesville. It manages alcohol licensing, enforcement, and education for more than 1,000 businesses. Generating more than $35 million in net income annually, ABS profits are used to pay down County debt with a large portion deposited in the County general fund to pay for resident services that would otherwise be funded by County tax dollars.